Why Floss Your Teeth?
Daily flossing is essential for removing plaque and food debris from in between the contact points of your teeth. These areas cannot be reached by a normal toothbrush. Daily flossing helps to thoroughly clean these contact areas reducing the risk of tooth decay and it helps to stimulate the gums keeping them strong and healthy and free from periodontal disease.
When Is the Best Time to Floss?
It’s best to floss last thing at night just before you go to bed. This is because the flow of saliva decreases during the night and the drier conditions help bacteria to thrive. Making sure you remove the buildup of plaque and bacteria from your mouth before you go to bed will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Which Type of Floss Should I Choose?
There are two main types of dental floss to choose from as it can be nylon multifilament floss, or it can be monofilament floss. Nylon floss consists of lots of different strands and it can be waxed or unwaxed. One of the problems with nylon floss is that the strands can sometimes separate or shred in between teeth that are tightly packed.
Monofilament or single filament floss tends to be slightly more expensive but is better for teeth that are tightly packed as it will slide in between them more easily. You may need to experiment with a few different types of floss before you find the perfect brand that you’re completely happy using each day. It could be that your household needs more than one type of floss to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Which Is the Best Way to Floss?
There are two different methods that are most frequently used, and the first is to simply break off a length of approximately 18 inches of floss. Wind each and around your middle finger so you can manipulate the floss with your index fingers and thumbs. Gently work the floss in between your teeth, taking it right down to just below the gum line. Hold the floss so it follows the curves of your teeth and work it back up in between your teeth. Wind the dental floss along in between your middle fingers so you have a clean fresh section for the next tooth. Alternatively you can break off a long length of dental floss and tie it in a loop, then floss in between each tooth as before, using a fresh section for each tooth.
Hate Flossing? There Are Alternatives
If you cannot get on with flossing or simply lack sufficient manual dexterity then that are alternatives to try. It’s possible to purchase soft interdental picks that are a little like flexible tooth picks. These can be gently worked in between each tooth to clean the contact areas. Interdental brushes are very small brushes that are commonly used to clean around dental implants, braces and underneath bridges. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used to clean in between teeth. Water flossers are a good choice for anyone who has difficult holding smaller brushes.
My Gums Bleed When I Floss: Should I Stop?
Most definitely not, as bleeding gums are an early sign of gum disease. If your gums bleed then it’s best to make an appointment with Midtown Dentistry to get a proper diagnosis and to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Afterwards you need to persevere with flossing even if your gums continue to bleed. Paying better attention to brushing and flossing should ensure that the bleeding stops within a few weeks as your gums become healthier and stronger.
Call us at (713) 807-9877 or use the button below to Ask a Question or Schedule Your Appointment to have Dr. Jonathan Penchas or one of his expert staff examine your teeth.